It looks like that's going to be a wrap on Showtime's Who Is America?. From Sacha Baron Cohen, the political comedy series first premiered on the network in the summer of this year. Although Cohen had been rumored to be working on some kind of television project, Showtime had been able to keep Who Is America? a secret until just one week before its premiere. The series generated tons of headlines and subsequently became a hit for the network, and a follow-up season seemed to be a given. However, Cohen recently revealed he has chosen not to move forward with the series. In addition to concerns about never being able to dupe so many politicians again as he did in season 1, Cohen feels the series is best kept as a one-off.
"It's like The Ali G Show in England - I did one season. And the idea is not to make it a Seinfeld or an SNL."
Cohen also says that the five-hour process of getting into make-up each shooting day is "grueling," and he has no desire to keep it up on a regular basis. Still, Showtime chief David Nevins previously expressed his desire to bring the show back for new episodes. This makes sense, given the attention it received in the media and its high viewership numbers for the network. With Cohen not on board, however, that effectively puts an end to any potential plans to bring Who Is America? back. It's probably the right decision, as politicians and other potential targets for such a project are now going to always be on the lookout for Cohen in costume.
Before the first season aired, the show had already been generating controversy. Sarah Palin famously criticized Showtime and Cohen for tricking her for a segment on the then-unnamed TV series. Ultimately, footage from Palin's interview was not used for the show, but it seems her public complaints about it still only managed to generate more interest in the series. Other politicians would later echo Palin with their displeasure in being duped for the show, including Joe Walsh and Roy Moore. Georgia's former Republican state representative Jason Moore seemed to get the worst of it however, after a segment showing him shouting racial slurs resulted in his resignation from office.
Even if Cohen has no plans to bring back any of his new characters from Who Is America?, the performances are still being recognized. Cohen is up for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor due to his involvement on the series. While the future of Cohen's work in comedy remains to be seen, he continues to stay busy in other projects. The actor is currently filming for the upcoming Netflix series The Spy, which has Cohen starring in the lead role of real-life spy Eli Cohen. It will be interesting to see his transition into such a serious role after the outlandish segments shown by Who Is America?.
Of course, some of you might be thinking that this could be another ruse on Cohen's part. If he were in fact filming new episodes, he'd probably want to keep it a secret as he did with season 1. It doesn't seem likely, but perhaps none of us really know for sure. This information comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.